It’s never easy being a mom-and-pop merchant, or a similarly small retailer, given the resources of the bigger rivals out there, along with the pace of commerce and payments technology development. However, that also provides endless business opportunity for payment and commerce service providers, of course.
AEVI, a FinTech player that says it brings acquirers closer to their merchants, has launched an AppFlow software development kit, a product designed to boost the consumer checkout experience by “standardizing and automating the integration and interoperability of apps in an open environment,” the company said.
Small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), no matter how sophisticated they might be, face a retail environment that is advancing at breakneck speed. “It can frankly just be overwhelming to the extent that they can’t see the forest for the trees — and they can’t even answer the simplest question of ‘where do I start?’” CEO Mike Camerling told Karen Webster in a recent PYMNTS discussion centered around the payment challenges faced by SMBs. These merchants are often told that “they need to be all of these things so they can continue to have a relationship with their customer,” he said.
The idea behind the new AEVI software kit is that, according to the company, “developers, VARs and acquirers will be able to provide a better experience for merchants and consumers by delivering value-added apps and services that work seamlessly with the other apps available on AEVI’s marketplace, and on all AEVI-enabled third-party devices from multiple vendors.” In turn, that means merchant solution providers that employ the product can operate with less worry that “any change to the core POS solution could break other SmartPOS apps, and ensures developers don’t have to continually rework their integrations.”
The overreaching idea for this launch — and for new payments and commerce initiatives in general, especially those involving point-of-sale (POS) and checkout technology — is to provide frictionless experiences for customers. “Although multiple apps may be engaged during a transaction, to the consumer, it appears as one seamless checkout process,” AEVI said of its launch.
“The point of sale is rapidly transforming into a point of interaction in which payment and value-added apps and services will enrich the consumer shopping experience, where payment becomes an integrated feature of the consumer’s transaction journey in the new world of smart apps and devices,” said Nicky Koopman, VP of content and value-added services for AEVI.
The AEVI launch comes amid a time of fast change for the POS and consumer checkout worlds. Among the big trends in POS is trying to serve SMBs with simpler machines that offer relatively easier integration with legacy systems, which can better meet consumer demands about how and even where to pay for purchases.
Square, meanwhile, announced in October the launch of an integrated all-in-one card processing device dubbed Square Terminal. The solution aims to make the payments process easier for businesses that use their own POS solution or manually enter in a payment amount.
On Tuesday (Oct. 30), Bank of America Merchant Services — the payments, eCommerce and security solutions company — said it and talech, a cloud-based restaurant management software company, are teaming up to roll out a POS solution for the full-service restaurant and bar industries.
The deal comes at a time when Bank of America Merchant Services is shining a light on the challenges businesses face. Earlier this month, it released a new survey that found the costs associated with data breaches is increasing. According to the bank, 22 percent of consumers who have already had their personal or bank information stolen in a data breach said they would not shop at a small business that had fallen victim to a data breach. Bank of America Merchant Services said data breaches can be “devastating” to small businesses.